- Generally speaking, a distinctive mark of authenticity, through which the products of particular manufacturers or the vendible commodities of particular merchants may be distinguished from those of others. It may consist in any symbol or in any form of words, but, as its office is to point out distinctively the origin or ownership of the articles to which it is affixed, it follows that no sign or form of words can be appropriated as a valid trademark which, from the nature of the fact conveyed by its primary meaning, others may employ with equal truth and with equal right for the same purpose. Koppers Co., Inc. v. Krupp-Koppers, D.C.Pa., 517 F.Supp. 836, 840.A distinctive mark, motto, device, or emblem, which a manufacturer stamps, prints, or otherwise affixes to the goods he produces, so that they may be identified in the market, and their origin be vouched for. Trade-Mark Cases, 100 U.S. 82, 87, 25 L.Ed. 550.Exclusive rights to use a trademark are granted by the federal government for ten years, with the possibility of additional ten year renewal periods. 15 U.S.C.A. No.No. 1058, 1059. The term "trademark" includes any word, name, symbol, or device, or any combination thereof-(1) used by a person, or(2) which a person has a bona fide intention to use in commerce and applies to register on the principal register established by the Trademark Act, to identify and distinguish his or her goods, including a unique product, from those manufactured or sold by others and to indicate the source of the goods, even if that source is unknown. 15 U.S.C.A. No. 1127.See also certification mark- Official Gazette- related goods- secondary meaning- trade dressDescriptive and suggestive trademarks.Distinction between descriptive and suggestive trademarks is that "suggestive" terms are those which require the buyer to use thought, imagination, or perception to connect the mark with the goods, while "descriptive" terms are those which directly convey to the buyer the ingredients, qualities, or characteristics of the product. Educational Development Corp. v. Economy Co., C.A.Okl., 562 F.2d 26, 29.@ fanciful markA trademark consisting of a made-up or coined word is said to be "fanciful." Such marks are considered inherently distinctive, and thus are protected at common law, and are eligible for Trademark Act registration, from the time of first use.@ geographically descriptive markA geographic word used as a trademark that indicates where the goods are grown or manufactured is considered geographically descriptive. Such marks will only be protected at common law and registered under the Trademark Act upon proof of secondary meaning.See secondary meaning.@ strong trademarkFor purposes of determining the likelihood of confusion between marks, is a mark which is generally fictitious, arbitrary or fanciful and is inherently distinctive. A strong mark is entitled to a greater degree of protection from infringing uses than is a weak one, because of its unique usage. Alpha Industries, Inc. v. Alpha Steel Tube & Shapes, Inc., C.A.Cal., 616 F.2d 440, 445Compare weak trademark, below.@ suggestive mark@ suggestive term@ suggestive mark or termsuggestive mark or termOne that suggests, rather than describes, some particular characteristic of goods and services to which it applies and requires consumer to exercise imagination in order to draw conclusion as to nature of goods or services. Engineered Mechanical Services, Inc. v. Applied Mechanical Technology, Inc., D.C.La., 584 F.Supp. 1149, 1156@trade name distinguishedA "trade name" is a descriptive of a manufacturer or dealer and applies to business and its goodwill, whereas "trademark" is applicable only to vendable commodities. American Steel Foundries v. Robertson, 269 U.S. 372, 46 S.Ct. 160, 162, 70 L.Ed. 317.Corporate or business name symbolizing the reputation of a business as a whole, whereas a "trademark" is a term identifying and distinguishing a business' products. American Optical Corp. v. North American Optical Corp., D.C.N.Y., 489 F.Supp. 443, 447.See trade name.@ weak trademarkA mark that is a meaningful word in common usage or is merely a suggestive or descriptive trademark, and is entitled to protection only if it has acquired a secondary meaning.See also secondary meaningCompare strong trademark@
Black's law dictionary. HENRY CAMPBELL BLACK, M. A.. 1990.